Posts Tagged ‘Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior’

Metro Canada: Real stunts add to the action in Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 5.46.23 PMBy Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

Check the IMDB page for Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation. You’ll learn that Tom Cruise clung to the outside of an Airbus A400M at an elevation of 5000 feet, held his breath for six minutes underwater and performed dangerous driving scenes all without the aid of an on-camera stuntperson.

It’s not that he is trying to break the stunt union or put anyone out of work. Instead it is Cruise’s commitment to making sure the stunts in his films have a true, palpable sense of danger to them.

Much of what we see on screen these days is computer generated, illusions made up of bits and bytes, but many of the truly eye catching images we’ve seen in movies this summer were created the old fashioned way.

Remember the “car drop” scene from Furious 7? Stunt co-ordinator (and former Knight Rider stunt driver) Jack Gill actually arranged for autos to be launched out of a C-130 Hercules four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. They shot the scene twice. First aerial photographers in parachutes followed the cars as they dove from an altitude of 12,000 feet and then again from 8000 feet to get helicopter shots. The result is a wild sequence that feels like a rollercoaster ride with real cars.

After years of “following the CG evolution,” using computer generated images to create beautiful animated films like Happy Feet and Babe: A Pig in the City, Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller says he was keen to go back to “old school” filmmaking “with real cars and real people and real desert.”

That means, unlike the Avengers and their ilk, respecting the laws of physics by using practical effects and keeping the action earthbound. In other words, in a call back to the original Max films — Mad Max, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome — when a car blows up it doesn’t rocket into space. Instead it explodes spectacularly but organically. The wild action you see in Fury Road are actual stunts performed by stunt men and women and not generated by a clever computer operator in a studio. “It was like going back to your old home town and looking at it anew,” Miller says.

Nicholas Hoult, who plays Nux in Fury Road, says having the stunts performed for real added to his performance.

“Because it was all real it actually makes your job a lot easier,” he said. “Rather than being on a stage and having to pretend that things are happening around you and react to nothing, things are actually happening and your reactions are real.”

Carla Gugino says there was quite a bit of greenscreen action in her earthquake movie San Andreas, but adds director Brad Peyton “wanted to do as much in camera as possible.”

In one pivotal scene she and Dwayne Johnson are in a helicopter flying above the carnage.

“The helicopter was in a stage, on a greenscreen,” she says, “but was on a gimbal many, many feet up that literally dropped, dove and spun. We were twenty-five feet off the ground.”

“I think it makes a difference in watching the movie too. It feels much more viscerally connected.”

So filmmakers and actors love giving audiences the real deal thrill of practical effects, but how did Tom Cruise, what feel about hanging on to the side of an aircraft in full flight?

“I was actually scared s—less,” he says.